Polka Dot Cottage

Crocheted mason jar cozy

Posted October 1st, 2014 by

I have this knit coffee cup cozy that I bought last year at some charity thing, and I have been using it when I have coffee or tea in mason jars, but it has two problems:

  1. It’s all stretched-out after a year of use.
  2. It is only a simple tube, and I usually have to put my hand on the bottom of the jar to make sure the jar doesn’t fall right through the cozy. And that can get a little toasty on the fingers.

So on Friday night, I was feeling a little burned-out on the knitting thing, but I wanted to do something creative with my tv-watching. I grabbed a self-striping ball of worsted yarn from my stash, a crochet hook, and this tutorial, and got started.

Only it didn’t really work for me. My gauge was way too tight, and I found that I was struggling to single-crochet the “correct” way and still have enough spare attention to follow the plot on Falling Skies.

Crocheted Mason Jar Cozy

Crocheted Mason Jar Cozy

Crocheted Mason Jar Cozy

Crocheted Mason Jar Cozy

Crocheted Mason Jar Cozy

So I switched to a larger hook, decided to single crochet through the back loops (which felt more natural at the time) and just wing-it the rest of the way.

Here is my pattern, if you can call it that. Be open to going with your gut on this. Change the hook size, make it shorter or taller, crochet through whichever loops you like (front, back, both). This is just a guide to get you started.

I used a worsted-weight yarn and a K hook and I crocheted through the back loops the whole time.

Bottom of the cozy:
Round 1: ch 2, 9 sc in 2nd ch from hook. (9 sts)
Round 2: 2sc in each st of previous round. (18 sts)
Round 3: [2sc in next st, sc in next st] 9 times. (27 sts)

Measure the cozy against your mason jar’s bottom. Does it reach the edge of the bottom? if not, crochet another round. For my jar, I needed the 4th round.

Round 4 (if needed): [2sc in in next st, sc in next two sts] 9 times. (36 sts)

That should be sufficient to cover the bottom of your mason jar, but if it’s not, you’ll need to add more rounds, increasing every 4th st (for Round 5), every 5th st (for Round 6), and so on until you have enough rounds to cover the bottom of the jar.

Straight sides:
All rounds: sc in each st around.

Continue until just before the cozy reaches the point near the top of the jar where the sides begin to taper in.

Sl st into first st of previous round. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

And there you have it! Please let me know if any of this is unclear.

Also, you might find the original tutorial that inspired me to be more to your liking. You can check that out here. She has a clever way to determine how many stitches in circumference you will need your cozy to be.

Happy hot-beverage-in-a-mason-jar drinking!

Pocketed

Posted September 29th, 2014 by

Ok, NOW it is finished.

Ok, NOW it is finished.

Ok, NOW it is finished.

Ok, NOW it is finished. Pockets duly added.

They were very simple to knit, but a pain in the neck to sew on. That’s probably just me, though. I do not enjoy seaming knitted things together.

In fact, don’t scrutinize those pockets too closely. They’re not perfect. But then, neither am I, so I’m satisfied!

TWiP: Harvest Gold

Posted September 27th, 2014 by

This Week in Pictures

I’m starting to see the change of seasons in my everyday life, from the warm harvest gold of the fine-gauge sweater I throw over my shoulders these nippy mornings, to my leafy pajamas and the actual leaves underfoot on the path at the park.

I enjoy September. The early and late hours are full of cozy indulgences like handknit sweaters and store-bought coffees, while the afternoons are still Summer-like, pleasant, and perfectly-suited to driving with the windows down and the music cranked up.

This was a really good week for family fun and Autumn weather. Yay, September!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365, plus some everyday-life images I posted on Instagram during the previous week. (FYI, my daily photo project this year has changing monthly themes. For September it’s simple: mugs. A month of my morning coffee and other delicious drinks.)

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365: Mugs 20/30 – We’re celebrating Dad’s 70th today. Some assembly required.

Instagram: Party hats put together? Check! #dads70th

Instagram: Mustaches on sticks, birthday signs, and a stand-in-on-a-stick for the oldest grandson, who’s away at college? Check! #dads70th

Sunday

365: Mugs 21/30 – I always love that sunday-after-a-party, photo-processing day.

Monday

365: Mugs 22/30 – Sunflower update: still here, still really need to do something about them, even more bedraggled than before: http://ift.tt/1v8tTw6

Tuesday

365: Mugs 23/30 – I got the kids off to school bright and early, but now I’m having trouble getting going. I suspect being horizontal is not helping.

Wednesday

365: Mugs 24/30 – I went to write my to-do list for the day, and discovered that the "chalk" pen I used yesterday doesn’t wash off with water like my others. Meyer’s Clean Day (Honeysuckle scent) + elbow grease to the rescue!

Instagram: I decided my new sweater needs pockets after all… #knitting #seastones

Thursday

365: Mugs 25/30 – It’s a rainy Fall morning. The kids are off from school. One is sleeping, one is playing video games, and I am doing my usual photo-editing-over-breakfast thing.

Instagram: It’s a beautiful moody fall afternoon. Perfect for walking in the park.

Friday

365: Mugs 26/30 – This morning’s coffee break came complete with almond butter cookies and an Autumnal cloth napkin.

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Weekend Favorites

Posted September 26th, 2014 by

Thanks for your nice comments on my sweater post the other day. I’m always so happy right after a big project comes off the needles – I wear it every chance I get! I’ve decided I do want to put pockets on it. I already knit them last night, in fact. I just have to sew them on. That sounds like a job that would be perfect in front of a British mystery with a nice cup of tea. Mmmmm. Think I’ll be cozying up with that tonight.

On Flickr

The mosaic below represents other people’s pictures that spoke to me this week. Be sure to click on the titles below the mosaic, if you want to know more about the image or the photographer behind it.

(follow me on flickr)

Weekend Favorites at Polka Dot Cottage

1. New Millefiori Geometric Canes, 2. dans la cuisine, 3. Romantic Czech Glass with Freshwater Peals on Antique Brass Chain, 4. miss maggie rabbit making, 5. Avui festa!Matinal de costura a casa#kacuku #relax #patchwork #nousprojectes#, 6. 9:21:2014, 7. A little treat bought @67thepincushion with @claireinstitches today! I had such a lovely day – thank you @leighsideknits your KAL is the gift that keeps on giving, 8. croisic, 9. ship in a bottle floss colors, 10. Mail Embellishment, 11. Bisutería y platos de arcilla polimérica., 12. Tecnica de transferencia sobre arcilla polimerica

Around the Web

I spend some time earlier in the week sharing my favorite crafty links through social media. And then I repeat them here on Fridays.

  • Wait Your Turn for the Swings at Boston’s Adult Playground – something cool via CityLab. This is so neat! I hope it’s still here when we visit this exact area next winter. We rarely leave the hotel during those cold February weekends, but this would totally be worth a short brisk walk.
  • Making Rainbows – colorful polymer clay extrusions from Inspire to Create. Ronit Golan makes some pretty rainbow extruded canes (and show you how she does it) but my favorites are the ones with some dark blue mixed in. I’m a big believer in adding contrast to your polymer extrusions.
  • Ultimate Photo Playlist: Songs That Really Click – a list of tunes by Photojojo. Looking through this list of songs about photography and picture-taking, I feel a new playlist coming on…

Have a happy, Autumnal Friday!

Hudson River Stones

Posted September 22nd, 2014 by

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

I finished my September Sweater for 2014! You may notice a few things:

  1. it’s short-sleeved (my others are all long)
  2. it’s a raglan (my others are all round yoked)
  3. it’s long (my others are all hip-length)
  4. it’s not green (two out of three of my others are green)

All of those things set it apart from my previous September Sweaters. See 2013, 2012, and 2011.

In the last few years I have actually knit quite a few sweaters that were like those previous September Sweaters: hip-length and round-yoke. See Tea Leaves, Everyday Cardigan, Everyday Pullover, and In Threes.

Yeah. In fact, I was composing this post in my head last night and I actually fell asleep counting sweaters! It’s the knitter’s version of counting sheep, I guess. Now that I am wide awake, I have made it to the end of my list and I can tell you there have been 11.

Yes, that’s eleven round-yoke, hip-length sweaters in the last three years. Admittedly four of them were baby or toddler size, and took very little time to knit, but still! I’m kind of impressed with myself. And that doesn’t even include the one I have in progress.

So, anyway, back to this new sweater, and the different-ness of it:

Hudson River Stones

I love that I chose this brown color for the yarn. I really needed something relatively neutral in my closet. There’s whole lotta green in my sweater pile, folks. And a little bit of orange. And some gold. But mostly green.

The yarn is undyed (I think), and a natural alpaca/wool blend that I bought at Rhinebeck last year. I chose to make this year’s September sweater out of it because my September Sweater is also always my Rhinebeck sweater, and it felt like a very full-circle kind of thing to do.

The Rhinebeck connection is also the reason why I named it Hudson River Stones (the pattern name is Sea Stones). We spend a lot of time driving alongside the Hudson on our way to the festival.

The alpaca content of this yarn makes the sweater so soft. I’ve been wearing it all day today with a camisole underneath, so the wool has been in contact with my shoulders. It’s pleasant and cozy.

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

With the exception of the stockinette body, which seemed to go on for miles, and miles, and miles, this sweater was a pleasure to knit. It provided an opportunity to learn some new tricks, which is always nice.

The raglan increases were turned into a decorative element through the use of twisted stitches and M1R/M1L, which are both techniques I had never done before.

The decorative edging at the collar, hem, cuffs, and button band was different than my usual 2×2 rib and/or garter stitch, and in some areas required a sewn bind-off before beginning. That was a new one on me, too.

I am thrilled with the way this came out! Mostly. I do have one little irritating thing that maybe you can help me with?

Hudson River Stones

Hudson River Stones

See how those button bands fold inwards? It’s driving me crazy. I really want them to lay flat. I’ll admit I haven’t actually blocked this sweater (yet?) but I don’t feel like that would solve the problem. Am I wrong? Should I do it?

I hesitate mainly because I am happy with the fit as it is and I don’t want to block it and accidentally ruin that. If it will help the button band situation, though, I’ll risk it!

Knitters, what do you think I should do?

The Details

Pattern: Sea Stones by Melissa Schaschwary.

Yarn: Brooks Farm Yarn Tierra Blend

Needles: #7 and #5 (I went down a size to get stitch gauge, although my row gauge was still off. I had 5 rows/inch instead of 6.)

Modifications: To make up for my different row gauge, I knit about 20 fewer rows in the body, and 1-2 less in the edgings. Also, the pattern calls for patch pockets, which I didn’t do (although I am considering it now).

See my project on ravelry.

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